A Wife’s Credentials: Episode 5

[This hug makes me cry. Here’s a woman who has just received the biggest blow from the two persons she least expects to hurt her. Yet she reaches out with warmth and affection. Her hug is genuine, as are her words. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be in her shoes at that moment, and to respond the way she does, with so much grace and class. To read more of my and Softy’s thoughts on our Teacher Hong, scroll down to the end of the recap. Thanks for watching this amazing drama with us! —thundie]

Characters

SR – Yoon Seo-rae
SJ – Han Sang-jin (SR’s husband)
G – Han Gyeol (SR and SJ’s 5th grade son)
MR – Yoon Mi-rae (SR’s younger sister)
T – Kim Tae-oh (dentist who is married with a young daughter)
Hong – Hong Ji-seon (runs her own academy)
BR – Bo-rum (T and Hong’s daughter)
MJ – Han Myeong-jin (SR’s sister-in-law and SJ’s younger sister)
HT – Jo Hyun-tae (MJ’s husband)
YJ – Jo Yoon-jae (MJ and HT’s older daughter)
EJ – Kang Eun-joo (HT’s other woman)
FIL (SR’s father-in-law)
MIL (SR’s mother-in-law)

Episode 5

MJ calls off the investigator for today and tells him she (SR) is on a trip with her family.

MJ and EJ look at the photos MJ got of SR and her family in their car. MJ thinks SR is doing everything she wants by having a relationship on the side but still keeping her family. EJ doesn’t think they should jump to any conclusions yet just with the info they have now. “There are two things this could be: 1 – that there is nothing going on. The other thing is like MJ said, (SR) playing like this so openly like nothing is going on could be more scary.” The result is they have to look into it more (investigate further) during the weekday as well. MJ agrees. MJ packs up and says let’s protect the weekend too. She lists her plans to have lunch with her in laws (since her kids are home) and dinner with her parents.

SR is on the phone with Hong to tell her how far they’ve come. Hong tells her about some traffic on the road and how they have to go around and to come to a certain parking location. T unpacks the car and says the phone doesn’t work well here because Hong got disconnected. SR says the same thing into the phone — that she can’t hear well.

G says something is strange. He tells his dad how this is the wrong road. SR asks if he drove straight and he did. She points to the handwritten map and tells him again which way she told him to go. He argues back he didn’t know that so she says how she told him many times starting from home. She says navigation doesn’t even work here.

SJ says, “Then you should have driven,” so she points out she offered but he said never mind. He asks, “When did I say that?” She says again how she told him she has been here twice with G so she knows the road and will drive but he said how would it look if Teacher Hong of all people saw him make his wife drive.

G backs his mom up and says to his dad: “I heard (you say) that too.” SJ says, “Okay, all I have to do is turn around,” but SR points out there is no place to turn because the road is narrow. SJ complains how could there be a place like this and says Hong’s family has weird tastes. SR says among people who like nature/camping, this place is famous. He complains some more saying there are more convenient places so why pick one like this place and if the snow came this much they should have changed location.

SR asks why he has to be that way because they came in a good mood. This was because G’s grades came out well and he was invited by his teacher and her family. He complains that the basic amenities don’t work here (he means like cell phone reception and easy access). But G says if you go there it’s really nice — the view, air, and everything. SR says how excited G was because his teacher invited him here.

SR tells SJ to slowly back up and go down a ways. She offers to drive but he says it’s ok. He backs up too quickly and gets stuck in the snow. He says it’s frustrating and complains about the road. He tells her to get out and go take a look. SR puts a rock under the tire and tells G stuff like this is fun too. They stand back and SJ finally pulls out of the snow.

Back at camp Hong worries and says they should have been here by now. T asks what car they drive so Hong says “I don’t know.” He asks, “She is your friend but you don’t know that.” Hong explains they don’t check what each other drives. T says that’s not it — if it’s a normal car they will suffer (getting up here). Hong realizes that’s true and tried to call again but phone doesn’t work.

G says, “We are almost there, Mom. I see it up ahead. I remember it.” SR is driving and says to him: “I remember it too.” SJ says to call and confirm but G reminds him the phones don’t work. SR: “We came the right way — look.” She says to her son “aren’t you happy to see this place again?” so G agrees.

SJ starts complaining again about how they shouldn’t make camping grounds at places like this in the wooded forest because of the gas from the car and gas to grill meat (he means because of the danger of forest fires). G says this to reassure his dad: that they have deals here where large groups can come (to save gas and stuff) so SR points out to SJ: “You should have come with us when we went on trips.” SJ: “Did I not go on purpose? Are you saying that because you don’t know how a reporter’s job works? Also, if the phone doesn’t work that will cause more trouble because I don’t know when urgent calls will come in.” She reminds him about his deal to relax this weekend since they came to congratulate G. He tells her to pull over so he can switch seats.

As they pull up G points out Hong. SR and G wave to Hong and her daughter. Hong tells them where to pull up. She welcomes them. They greet each other. Hong asks: “You suffered, didn’t you?” but SR says no. She introduces her husband so SJ says hello to Hong.

They introduce each other and he says it’s an honor to be invited. Hong dismisses the honor part and says how she is friends with SR. she compliments SR to him by saying SR’s personality is good and she raised G so well. SJ is speechless so SR says to him: “You heard that, right?”

SJ says how it’s a dream come true to meet a teacher like Hong so Hong says it’s embarrassing. She tells her daughter to say hello so BR introduces herself. “My dad is cooking right now.” SJ compliments her and SR introduces G to BR. The kids say hi to each other. His dad says to G: “Good for you because now you have a dongsaeng.”

Hong shows them how to load their stuff to carry in the cart up to the camp site because cars aren’t allowed to go up. SR remembers that so SJ has no other choice but to go along with it. Hong says they only need to go up a little.

While the parents push and pull the cart, G goes and helps BR walk up so they can run ahead of the adults. Hong asks if SJ is having a hard time and he lies that he isn’t and that it’s fun. So Hong whispers to SR: “He must not have come with you often to places like this.” SR whispers back he never went and only came because G’s score was good and that put him in a good mood.

Hong says: “These days all dads are like that. If their kid’s scores are good, there is nothing they won’t do.” Hong says “just wait till your husband meets mine” so SR whispers: “I am looking forward to it.” SR looks ahead again so Hong taps her on the shoulder and says: “What you told me last time. Don’t worry about it because I forgot all about it.” SR realizes she blurted that out to Hong.

Hong: “I said I would forget it all for you.” SR: “But to tell the truth, I met him one more time.” Hong is shocked so she says: “What? Omo. You said you were going to end it.” SR: “It didn’t work out well because of my heart (meaning her heart wouldn’t let her).”

SJ calls out to the kids: “Go slowly. You will fall.” (because G and BR were running up the hill) G: “Yes.” BR calls out to G “Oppa, let’s go together” so G goes back and helps her run up by pushing her from behind. Hong says the kids got close quickly. SR agrees. “It’s because both are only children (no siblings).” SJ slips so Hong tells him to be careful. SJ: “It’s ok. This is fun.” He huffs and puffs as he makes his way up.

T is peeling potatoes when BR calls out, “Dad. It’s G oppa.” They run over and G says hello. They both recognize each other.

G: “Wow, this is amazing.” T looks around and says G’s name so BR asks: “Dad, do you know this oppa?” T: “Yes, I’m his dentist.” BR: “Really?” T keeps looking around; he seems nervous.

SJ and SR and Hong are taking a break sitting there resting. The kids run back down and both yell out at the same time so none of the parents understand anything. BR: “Mom, dad and oppa know each other.” G: “Mom, BR’s dad is my dentist.” They slip down the hill to them so Hong says “you should be careful.”

Both kids talk at once. BR says how her dad is his dentist. G: “I was so shocked.” Hong says for one person to talk at a time. First, G. G says how he goes to Geehan dental clinic so Hong taps SR and says that’s (BR’s) dad’s. SR: “What?” SJ: “Really?” G: “Yes, he was standing there.” Hong: “This is really fun.” SJ: “This is not your average coincidence.” SR is in shock and looks up the hill.

Hong asks G: “So did he recognize you?” G: “Of course he remembered me clearly. Why because last time my teeth hurt so I…”G narrates the time he bumped his forehead on T’s nose and caused a nosebleed but SR drowns that out from shock and doesn’t hear any of it.

T is still in shock himself. He remembers the first time he and SR met at the bus stop and how he retrieved her stolen bike for her later. The other memories come flooding back: seeing her at his clinic, shaking hands on their first date on the boat, carrying her mom on his back, and comforting SR when she cries. He thinks of the two times when they kissed, first on the boat and the second time in the car. He tries to gather his thoughts.

BR calls out to her dad so T turns around to greet the other family. Hong tells SJ where to park the cart. Hong says to T: “What is this? Isn’t this so fun?” SJ agrees. T goes over and says, “It’s nice to meet you.” They introduce each other and shake hands.

SJ makes a joke about how T got hurt because of G. BR repeats what happened and says how her dad got hurt and blood flowed from his nose. They all laugh. Hong looks over at SR because she is still standing away from them unable to face T. T offers to unload the cart and looks over at SR.

SR and G are setting up tent and SJ is doing other things. SJ asks SR which school T graduated from. SR: “I don’t know.” SJ: “When you go to the clinic, don’t they have the diplomas hung up?” SR: “I didn’t see it.” SJ doesn’t know how to assemble the poles so G does it.

Hong is cooking and tells T how this is the first time for SJ to come to a place like this. “But since G’s grades came out well and we invited him, he didn’t say two words and said ok. He is like fathers these days. Isn’t it fun? Even though G’s mom will be tired. Huh?” T didn’t hear as usual so she says: “Why don’t you pay attention to me here?” T: “I didn’t hear you.” Hong: “That’s why I am asking you to pay attention to what I say.”

Hong calls out for SR’s family to come for a fun mealtime. BR and G come out yelling, “It’s food!” Hong tells the kids to wash their hands. SJ tells SR to eat and then finish so she says “I am done.”

During their meal SJ goes on his lecture mode and says how scary education is. “So often you have to let the kids experience what’s between the sky and ground.” Hong agrees and says that’s why they get in line to find new locations like this and how she teaches her kid to enjoy the outdoors.

SJ says Hong is doing well. He says how he was afraid of moving to Daechi-dong (he lies and uses what SR’s actually believes about what their original outlook was like for G’s education), and that it made them worry that it wouldn’t be enough. So what made them make this decision (to move) was that it only took for them to come to their senses.

SJ talks about how they had confidence about G’s skills improving as he studied. SR pretends to be busy eating so he says to her: “Didn’t we, honey?” She doesn’t answer. T sort of looks at her.

SJ asks what year T graduated college. SJ: “I’m class of ‘88.” T: I’m ’90.” SJ: “You are my hoobae (junior).” SJ asks about Hong so she says, “We are the same graduating class. We were a famous college campus couple (Koreans call that CC for campus couple).”

Hong says both their majors. She was math. SJ asks which school so she says Sahyun University. SJ knows someone in charge of their school who went to the same school as SJ as kids. SJ keeps mumbling on about that guy saying how a person changes. “Because of my job I can’t help meeting him often, but every time I meet him I feel bad for him.” SJ thinks that guy is waiting for his call so he tries to call and realizes he can’t get through. “This is a headache.” Hong says: “When you go down a ways, it often works.” SJ decides not to call. Hong says she will do dishes with G’s mom so the two of them can chop wood. SJ says “I will.”

G and BT play catch. Hong washes dishes with SR. SJ tries, but T actually chops wood. SJ blames his small axe and calls out to SR that she should have sharpened it. The wood splinters off and won’t chop in half. SR ignores him so T says there are often strong wood that does that. Hong calls out to SJ to do something else. Hong tells SR that SJ is cute.

Hong encourages SR not to be too embarrassed because even though SJ and T are not hitting it off (probably because they are so different), spouses can’t be perfect. “To tell you the truth, I had to force him (T) to come too. Because these days I feel nervous. There isn’t a serious problem, but it’s frustrating.” She shares how whatever they talk about, it’s nothing meaningful (just insignificant stuff) so she dragged him out here because she thought it would be nice to spend time as spouses.

SR: “Oh, that’s what you did.” Hong: “So, even if G’s dad overdoes it, accept it like it’s fun and enjoy yourself here and go. For our husbands’ sake.” (from here Hong spoke informally like friends) Hong says, “Later after the kids sleep, let’s have some wine outside staring at the stars.”

SR doesn’t answer so Hong looks at her and asks: “Are you feeling sick somewhere? Your face is white. And you are sweating a lot.” SR: “I think I have a little bit of indigestion.” Hong: “Then you have to eat medicine. Wait a minute. I have a really good medicine for digestion.” SR tries to call after her but Hong runs off to get the medicine.

G and BR talk about the birds so G calls out to SR about a name of a bird. She gives him an answer. (I don’t know bird species) She finally breaks down in tears and T looks up at her worried.

She looks at him then turns around and realizes the rumors are already going around because she remembers how MR was telling her about Hong’s husband cheating on her and how SR defended Hong saying Hong gets along with her husband. Then how MR said that SR should tell Hong as Hong’s friend (that her husband is cheating on her). SR repeats: “This is ridiculous.” Hong comes back and tells SR to drink it (the medicine).

MJ and her family go and meet her parents for dinner. Her parents dote on their granddaughters. HT gets a text from EJ who asks: “Where are you going to eat dinner?” MJ asks what HT is going to eat. Fish? HT says: “Whatever you are eating.”

EJ waits for her son. She asks if he is hungry. EJ texted HT: “How much longer do I have to do this? Every time I eat out with JH, just in case I run into you, I have to ask where you are eating. I want to stop doing these things.” MJ asks what HT is doing because he keeps texting. So HT lies and says it’s something to do with work.

He asks: “Why didn’t you call G’s family out too?” His daughter says she misses G so MJ says that family went on a trip. Her mom asks: “How do you know? Did you speak to them on the phone?” MJ covers up quickly because she can’t let them know how she really knows so she says, “I heard from my friend who lives across from them. That she saw them pack up early this morning and leave. They must not have told you and went, Mom.”

MIL says, “She called me last night. That she was going on a camping trip with Teacher Hong’s family.” The girls (MJ’s daughters) are envious and say that must be so great. MJ asks her mom: “With who?” Her mom says Teacher Hong. HT: “They must be close.” MJ goes to the bathroom and calls EJ to tell her the two families went together so she can’t figure out what’s going on. EJ: “What? So then what?”

T is by the fire and looks over at SR’s tent.

SJ is standing over SR asking, “What is this? After we came all this way.” (because SR is in her sleeping bag feeling sick) SR apologizes to Hong but Hong says: “There is no need to feel sorry because your body is sick.” SR tells her “I will feel better after sleeping.” She tells her husband: “Normally when I am sick, you know I sleep.” Hong: “That’s true. There are people like that. Cover up well and sleep. Do you need anything?”

SR waves her hand and says it’s ok. Hong tells SJ to stay by SR’s side and she and T will clean up. SJ says he is apologetic but she says it’s ok. She tells SR: “Let’s meet in the morning when you are all better.” SR: “Okay.” Hong tells them to sleep well and goes. She turns off their outside lantern for them.

SJ mutters to SR: “You have to be careful with your own body.” (meaning “you should have taken better care of yourself”) SJ lies down and says: “Wake me up if you have a hard time.” SR: “Bathroom.” SJ: “It’s a nuisance.” She says, “You have to turn the lantern off.” SJ looks at it and says, “I don’t know how to turn it off.” SR: “I will turn it off.”

Hong mutters: “This is why it doesn’t work.” She was trying to make a romantic mood with T but she is too sleepy. He tells her to go in and sleep. He will go in after he puts the fire out. She says she won’t clear this up (wine glasses and fruit plate) so he says “I will clear up.” She says she is sleepy and goes into the tent.

SR can’t sleep because of SJ’s snoring so she goes outside just as T puts out the fire. He watches her leave and follows her. She turns around when she notices him. She goes back and he reads her face.

T: “I know. I know but…” She says: “I am going to go to the car to sleep.” SJ’s snoring is heard. SR: “Because that sound is loud. When I am sick, I have to sleep.” He takes the flashlight from her and walks ahead. He turns and looks at her. She stands and looks back at her tent then looks at him.

Next morning, T and SR are still asleep in her car. She wakes up first and is surprised to see him sleeping next to her. She looks out to see Hong staring at them.

Hong walks away. SR cries and tries to go out but T says “just stay here.” SR: “She saw. She looked at us. I have to explain or say something.” He stops her from leaving.

SR: “I said she saw us. My son’s teacher. BR’s mom. Your wife. How shocked she must have been to not have any facial expression (to not have any look on her face or to be expressionless). I have to explain it’s not like that or beg that I was wrong or say something.”

He stops her and says: “It’s my problem.” SR: “How? When there is a relationship between BR’s mom and me. A person who believes in (our) friendship, I betrayed her. Ever since we arrived yesterday till right now, I deceived her.” He suddenly hugs her tightly.

T: “Whether to explain or beg, I will do it.” SR: “I wish I saw a hallucination.” T: “Yes, you might have.” SR: “It would have been better if I had…” She pulls away and says, “I will go up first.” She walks back to see Hong doing morning exercise with the kids. She sees the breakfast set up.

Hong asks how she feels. SR stutters: “I am ok. When did you make all this food?” So Hong says: “I made it early. After going up the mountain once, before the roads have traffic we should leave.”

SJ comes out and says good morning. Hong: “Did you sleep well?” SJ: “Yes, thanks to you.” He asks if SR feels better. Hong asks why he snores so much. She went to the bathroom at the crack of dawn and heard him and looked around for the sound. He says sorry.

Hong: “How bad must it have been for G’s mom to sleep in the car.” SJ: “You did.” With that, SR realizes Hong really saw them. Hong says: “T must have gone for a walk. When he comes let’s eat breakfast and hike.” SJ: “Yes, let’s do that.” T shows up. Hong says BR’s dad is coming. She calls out: “Did you have a good walk? Let’s eat breakfast.”

Each family packs up their cars. SJ says to T: “Thanks to you, we had a great time. Even though my wife got a little sick and brought things down.” SR agrees. Hong says about SR: “During all that time, all that nervousness because of G’s exam must have been released.” SR apologizes for not being able to play. Hong: “It’s ok.” She tells SJ: “Be good to G’s mom. Because it’s all hanging on G’s mom whether G does well in middle school.”

SJ: “I should do that.” He asks if G has potential (possibilities) because he heard the hardest was international schools. Hong: “I think he does because he has unique/viable qualities.” He thanks her. Hong looks at SR and extends out her arms and asks for a hug. She hugs her and says: “You know I like you very much, right?”

T says “let’s go” to the kids and tells SJ to go safely. They all say goodbye. In the car SJ tells G to work hard because his teacher said he had plenty of possibility/potential. G: “Ok.” SR says there is a lot of traffic.

SJ remarks how good Hong is. She will probably pay more attention to G now. “You did well up to now, but let’s work hard (for G’s future education). I will tell my parents too and tell them not to take away your time if they can help it. I will do well too.” G tells his mom: “Isn’t this flower pretty? BR gave it to me. BR is the best.”

Hong is on the phone with her housekeeper/nanny. She says: “We are on our way up now, but could you come to work today? After we drop off BR, we have somewhere to go for a short while. When we reach the neighborhood, I will call so come down and wait please.” After she hangs up T asks: “Where?” Hong: “We can’t just go in (meaning – like nothing happened).”

After they get off the elevator, SJ asks G: “Let’s have ramen for dinner since mom is tired.” G: “I like that.” EJ watches them through her peephole.

Hong drops off her daughter and tells BR to play with the ajumma. She makes BR say what the kid has to work on for today. Hong says: “Okay, see you later.” BR says bye to her dad. T tells her to go in. Hong says to the housekeeper: “Please take care of her well.”

MJ calls out and says: “I heard you went camping with G’s family.” Hong: “There are no secrets.” MJ: “We are family.” She asks if T had fun. T says yes. J: “Why aren’t you going up?” Hong says: “We are going off by ourselves.”

MJ says they are like newlyweds. “If it was us, we would be tired and want to hurry and go up and lie down.” MJ: “So did you have fun with G’s family?” Hong: “Of course we did.” MJ: “Since you are so close, it’s making me jealous. Go, since he (T) is waiting.” They say goodbye. Hong gets in and tells him to drive out somewhere nearby for now.

MJ reports to EJ that Hong was perfectly fine. EJ reports so was G’s family. They were even closer than usual. MJ says Hong left the kid behind and went off to spend time as a couple. MJ wonders if they jumped to conclusions now. MJ thinks she is going through this trouble because she met the wrong sister-in-law. “It’s my wedding anniversary and I am going out to dinner with the kids and their dad but look at me now not getting ready to go out.”

SR is clearing up but SJ urges her to go in and rest and he will do it. He tells her not to worry about dinner too. She calls out to G to prepare his things for school (the next morning). She goes and lies down.

Hong is at a singing room with T. He asks why they came here. She says because it’s sound-proof. She cries and throws her drink at him and calls him a beggar (to mean “trash”) and a coward. “Do you know how shocked I was? It would have been better if you two were naked and being indecent then I could have pulled her out by the hair or something. The moment I saw you two sleeping so comfortably, I thought I would faint.”

She gets up and hits him and cries and yells out stuff about SR but I can’t understand anything she said. It’s not coherent at all. He holds her so she says “let me go, you jerk.” She keeps sobbing.

After she calms down, she says: “Now it’s your time to talk.” T: “Give me some time. I will get things settled and then tell you (meaning he is going to sort out his feelings).” Hong: “I am going to ignore this. Nothing happened with you. YSR? Nothing happened. I am going to exercise like I’ve been doing. I’m going to teach G. Just know that.” She composes herself. T just listens and does not speak.

JH is studying English so EJ asks if he is preparing for his morning study. JH: “I must since Dad is doing this from America.” EJ: “So do you like it?” JH: “Of course I like it. Because I was really envious of other kids studying with their dads in the mornings.” She asks what he wants to eat for a snack so he says walnut pie so she says she will buy it for him. He says: “Let’s go together.”

As they go out she checks to see where HT is. He says: “I am still at the office. Don’t worry about JH’s morning study. Will call you at the exact time.” JH asks who that is so she lies: “Mom’s friend.”

When they get to the bakery, EJ spots HT with MJ. EJ covers JH so he can’t see his father. MJ sees her and calls out her name. HT quickly hides and ducks out. MJ asks what brings her here late at night. EJ explains how JH wanted to eat something from here. JH says hi to MJ. He says how he likes everything but he was craving walnut pie today. MJ says that’s why JH is growing taller each time she sees him because he eats well. She tells him to choose more.

HT makes it outside and hides. EJ asks if MJ enjoyed her meal with her husband. MJ: “Where is he?” MJ looks and says “where did he go?” The salesclerk said he went out just now. EJ tells JH to hurry and choose the bread. She notices MJ’s bracelet so MJ says it was her (anniversary) gift.

EJ: “Of course he should do this much because how many good things happened to your family.” She lists the kids’ accomplishments. “I wonder how he bought that. I heard not that many came in.” EJ goes on and says the cost isn’t shocking, it’s how good he is to MJ. MJ says how well he treats a woman is his attractive charm. He must have put a little effort into this. EJ: “If it’s to this extent, it’s not ‘a little’.”

MJ whispers she is afraid the rumors will go around about SR (and T). “If my parents know they will faint. They don’t even imagine such a thing.” EJ: “Why would they?” JH comes over so EJ asks if he finished choosing. MJ takes the tray and asks the girl to ring this up with hers. (that’s why MJ urged him to choose because she was going to pay)

EJ: “Isn’t that too much?” MJ: “I’m his mom’s best friend so why wouldn’t I be able to buy these for him?” HT watches them come out and hides again. MJ thinks HT went up to their home already. EJ congratulates her on MJ’s wedding anniversary. MJ thanks her. HT watches EJ drive off and goes to his wife. She was about to call him. She asks where he went. He says he had an urgent call come in but his phone wasn’t charged.

EJ drives home seething. She gets a text from HT: “Are you ok, honey? My heart aches and I am sorry.” He says let’s talk tomorrow. MJ calls him so he pretends to be on the toilet. She asks what is taking so long. She sees him and shuts the door.

She reminds him about tomorrow morning but he asks “can’t we do it at night?” She says: “You know condition in the morning is best.” HT: “It’s because you are so pretty and my heart is in a rush.” (they are talking code for impregnate her because she is ovulating and is trying to have a son)

SR gets a text from T: “I was wondering if you were ok. You don’t have to give me a long response. Just yes or no. I am really worried (about you).”

Hong cries herself to sleep.

JH wakes up and asks if his dad hasn’t called yet. She says he will soon. “Go wash your face.” HT goes to his office and goes online with his son. He asks: “How do you feel?” JH: “Good.” TH says “I love you, honey” to EJ but she looks pissed. EJ says in her head to MJ: “It’s the end of your perfect family. I am going to start by getting your brother divorced.”

SR texts Hong: “I am sorry but I will take a break from exercising. My body still doesn’t feel well.” SR calls her sister to tell her she is going to their mom. “You can come too if you want. Ok then. I will call you later.” Hong continues with her yudo.

When she reaches the nursing home, the nurse tells her that it’s not the day for T to come but he came early this morning. SR heads over to her mom’s room and listens to T talking. T is with her mom while she eats bread and drinks milk.

T: “That day there was a sudden rain shower. Your daughter took out a raincoat and put it on. I found her bike for her and at the dental clinic… around the neighborhood… Every time I ran into her by accident, I was so happy to see her. Aside from me, I thought there is another person who feels bewildered — who was unaccustomed to that neighborhood and feeling out of place. That’s how I ended up liking her, but… even after my wife found out, to someone who I went through a lot with to love, even if I was giving her that kind of anguish — to the extent that I couldn’t turn back. Each day there are things to do — with all your effort if you aren’t careful, even while knowing it all, that life is really dangerous. But someone said to me — they would take all the punishment and give it all — that’s why I am afraid. I’m like this but that SR might say she doesn’t feel that way. That might be something I am the most afraid of more than anything — if SR rejects me — what do I do with my heart (feelings) on my own? I am too childish and awful, am I not? After causing such a big incident and only thinking of myself.”

Her mom points and says: “Your girlfriend came.” He goes out and runs after SR. He calls out to her and embraces her.

MJ and EJ stare at the photos of HT and SR hugging and MJ is speechless. EJ asks: “Are you ok?” MJ asks for ice water. EJ goes and gets it for her. EJ takes MJ’s phone and sends the photos to SJ while MJ had her eyes closed.

At work SJ receives the photos. He is stunned.

END

Softy’s comments

I have to admit, Episode 5 is when I gained new respect for Hong. She faced her husband’s infidelity better than most women would have. Maybe it was because Hong already was a strong person, but I feel like she found some reserve strength to hold it in and not let it out till SR’s family had left and Hong made sure her daughter was inside the home and out of earshot.

In this affair, SR and T gained so much by finding each other, but Hong had to lose not only her husband and the father of her child, but also a newly made friend. Out of all the betrayals, the friendship one must have hurt more personally because this is the first time Hong went out on a limb and allowed herself to get close to another mother. That betrayal has to sting because in a way, she lost her husband many years ago. She was living with the physical shadow of a human being. It was just a matter of time till that shadow moved away from her to go protect someone else who appreciated him. I bet SR’s love made him feel human again so who can blame a guy for being drawn to actual life and not just the motions of it.

thundie’s comments

Like Softy, I gained a new appreciation for Hong Ji-seon in this episode. Not only that, I feel that I love her a lot, possibly more than I love Seo-rae. Her personality just shines; she seems so beautiful inside and out. Despite appearing like Ms. Cool Cucumber in the early episodes, she’s a girl at heart and I love how conspiratorial she is with Seo-rae, as if they are still teens sharing a secret. After the bombshell that basically shatters her world, for her to still hug Seo-rae and tell her that she really likes her… Oh, my heart just broke. I cried again (for her and with her) when she’s screaming and sobbing in the noraebang.

Which brings me to Tae-oh. After seeing his normally collected wife break down before him, I thought he would be filled with pain himself (for hurting her). But his thoughts continue to be consumed by his feelings for Seo-rae. That makes me rather angry with him (even though I like him much more than Seo-rae’s husband Sang-jin), and it also makes me wonder how he and Ji-seon could have arrived at such a stage. What has happened to make him stop loving and caring for her? Right from Episode 1 it’s clear he has become so emotionally detached from her; he hardly smiles at her and he doesn’t pay attention when she talks. Will future episodes reveal the reason or reasons? He’s definitely not a player; he’s definitely been unhappy for a long time.

And then we have Han-gyeol and Bo-rum. Episode 5 does a superb job juxtaposing two opposing realities: the complex (and entangled) world of the adults versus the carefree (and innocent) world of the children. Seeing how quickly Han-gyeol and Bo-rum attach to each other, I can’t bear to think of how Seo-rae and Tae-oh’s affair is going to affect them. But affected they will be, no matter how much the adults try to shield them. Ditto Hyun-tae’s children when they learn that their father has two wives and that they have more siblings!

With every episode my gratitude to the writer and director deepens. Pacing is perfect and the acting so natural and nuanced I forget I’m watching a drama; the characters feel like they could be people I know—as relatives, friends, and colleagues. Sang-jin especially is so realistically written. How many guys do we know who are just like him in attitude and behavior? Yet whenever I think I can’t dislike him more, he does something to sway me. That’s layered characterization for you.

7 thoughts on “A Wife’s Credentials: Episode 5

  1. I think Teacher Hong is my fave character here and I really feel bad for her that her husband doesn’t care for her at all. He doesn’t sympathize with her at all and still thinks about SR when he should be feeling sorry for his wife and daughter. He is all kind and thoughtful to SR and her mum but acts like a jerk towards his daughter’s mother. I know Hong isn’t perfect and she can be cold but she never deserved this!

    I think I hate all the characters apart from the kids. I am honestly disappointed with SR. I wish she would have done more to try to explain and I wish she didn’t hug him at the end.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful recap. I couldn’t wait to watch 5 so started it right after the episode 4 recap, and even though I could feel everything that transpired, I am so happy to finally know what the conversations were.

    I agree that I am liking Hong more than SR at the moment and that my heart broke in a few of those scenes. Hopefully the previous disintegration of her marriage will come to light, because I’m a little surprised that after so few meetings with SR, T has fallen hook, line and sinker. It’s certainly more obvious why SR would be disenchanted with SJ!

    Also agree that the pacing is perfect! Can’t believe SJ has already seen the pictures. Hmmm, wish I could bribe someone to sub it because I’d love to marathon it as it plays more like an well-written movie to me. This is the only drama I’m really interested in now, so it’s truly a lesson in patience.

    Thanks so much for continuing to recap it!

  3. Thank you for the recaps!! I’ve been reading them like a serialized novel ;) I loved Lee Tae Ran when she played younger sister to Choi Jin Shil’s character in My Rosy Life. And here she has a bigger and more demanding role. Oh, I hope I get a chance to see this drama.

  4. Thank you for recapping!

    OK, I’m going to be judgemental now but that’s how I’m feeling right now, after seeing the episode. I might change my mind about the characters later, after watching more episodes.

    I agree with the commenter above (Shiku), it’s one thing to have stopped loving your wife for years, stopped listening to her, even having a love affair. But it’s another one to not give a shit about 1) sleeping next to her friend (his mistress) during the camp thing 2) not feeling bad for your wife, as a human being, period. Whenever she wants him to talk, he doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t give a shit about standing up for himself in their relationship, about telling her how he feels, what he dislikes, he chose to become a ghost, to escape her (easy route), while she still wants to make it work. If he doesn’t tell her what’s bothering him about her, how will she ever find out and improve? Now, I’m waiting for the next episodes in order to know if he tried in the past and how she reacted.
    Also, I don’t really feel how kind he acts with other people while he acts like an insensitive person with his wife. It just doesn’t feel right to me, but I’m going to wait for more info on this. I’ve never really felt him from the start I must say, I didn’t have bad vibes, but I didn’t love him either. I’ve been kinda neutral about him.

    Hong. She’s strong and classy. I respect that. On the other hand, she seems to be the leader in her couple, always taking the decisions and not really giving much space to her husband, which makes it even easier for him to escape her.

    I love the pacing too! It’s not dragging with sad (tear-jerk) ballads with non interesting scenes…well, not yet :p lol So what, will they divorce? SJ won’t be able to face his family with that. Not now at least. So I think the in-laws won’t be informed before episode 8-9 at least. Because as soon as they’ll be in the know, it will be over. As for Hong and T, he’s smart as he keeps quiet and lets her be in denial (he knows she’ll do that), so he has more time to build up his affair and enjoy it to the fullest until he cannot step back anymore. Maybe until she lets him go without him asking for it.

    • Yes, T is emotionally detached from Hong and we don’t know at this time what he (and Hong) tried to do in the past to protect their relationship.

      As for YSR, I think she is being very careful at this time. She feels for Hong and has an idea how hurt her new friend is. She went to the facility to be with her mother. To think about things in her company. How is she to know he’d be there, too?

      It’s EJ I can’t stand! She’s malicious. She wants to hurt MJ and her family when her relationship with MJ’s husband is already undermining MJ’s marriage.

  5. I think I’ll be having a heart attack watching the preview to the next episode. But this episode alone makes me want to cry for hong… for SR … for T. Is this fate? Is reality this cruel? I think it is. Because I have experienced it (been betrayed) Though I have so much respect for Hong because of the way she handles the confrontation with T, It is grace under pressure. She sees to it that her daughter doesnt hear it. I admire her sensibility. As for SR well she deserves to feel treasured because she has a jerk for a husband. thanks a lot softy and thundie. I just hope a lot of people will watch this drama! daebak!!!

  6. Thank you for the recaps, unnies! I lost so much sleep over this awesome drama in the past several days. It’s surely not for weak hearts!!! The drama has it all: superb acting, lucid story telling, genius directorial strokes, characters that feel so real their internal struggles crush my heart. I’m dying here because the drama is only subbed till ep. 7. I sincerely hope that you will continue to recap.

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